Public Computers Are No Place for Financial Institution Logins

This morning I had to take my car in to get inspected.  It’s a nice place, with some desktop computers available for the public with Internet access, to use while they wait.  I sat down and opened up Firefox.

Imagine my surprise when I started typing in a URL and it offered several autocomplete options, including a bank login.  I took a look at what was available in history – a Schwab account login page, a Credit Union login page, a Comcast login page, etc.  I took a look at IE (it is an older computer) and there were several more secure login pages in history. 

At some point we’re going to need some sort of public education on security.  I would NEVER EVER use a public computer to access a secure account where I have financial resources involved.  EVER.  I don’t care how much you trust the company that provides access to the computer and Internet.  It doesn’t matter.  I would certainly NOT trust a company that didn’t set up their public computer browsers to clear history and cache every time the browser is shut down, that has to be the minimum gesture of confidentiality you can provide.

But you can’t trust that computer, because you don’t know who has had access to it, you don’t know how secure it is within the Internet – you know nothing about it.  It’s bad enough that people can get hacked by using public WiFI but it makes NO sense to trust a public facing computer with their financial institution credentials.

Just Don’t Do It.